Vintage Pioneer Speakers
On a recent trip to Eugene Oregon an old friend of mine explained to me that in 1971 Pioneer stopped using cadmium in their speaker magnet alloy. He said that pre ’71 pioneers have a distinct sound because of this, especially the higher end models from the mid ’60s to ’71. Brett demonstrated this on his recently acquired pair from 1968. I immediately noticed their warmth and even balance across the frequencies. We tried songs from a few generes all at varying resolutions.
The first piece was a baritone voice backed by a violin, bass and subtle percussion. It was at CD resolution, 16bit 41.1khz. Sounded great, better than anything I have heard in my life time, warm and balanced.
Next we listened to an mp3 of Drive by REM. Great recording but I was appalled by how much was missing sonically. I asked my buddy if he had any songs with both a CD quality and mp3 quality example to compare. Brett told me that he had recently done such a test and it was obvious that the mp3 was thin and tinny and hurt your ears a bit when compared to the CD.
We sat and talked over some CD quality Wynton Marsalis and Aeropress coffee and I noticed another miraculous quality to the vintage Pioneer speakers. Even at the lowest volume I could hear everything and when bumped up a notch or two we could still carry on a conversation across a room from one another without distraction.
Now, back home in Pennsylvania, I am on a mission to track down a pair of pre ’71 Pioneers for our studio. I look forward to hearing some of my favorite records and comparing them to the blue-ray 24bit 192khz high resolution audio.